Under is an approximation of this video’s audio content material. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, pictures, and quotes to which Dr. Greger could also be referring, watch the above video.
Of all of the horrible issues about our diets, excessive dietary sodium consumption, excessive salt consumption, is the main danger, estimated to be inflicting hundreds of thousands of deaths yearly––killing hundreds of thousands primarily by way of hostile results on blood stress and elevated danger of stroke, coronary heart assault, and kidney injury. Hypertension—hypertension––remains to be known as the “silent and invisible killer” as a result of it not often causes signs, however is without doubt one of the strongest impartial predictors of a few of our main causes of loss of life.
We developed consuming a weight loss program very wealthy in potassium and low in sodium. However right this moment, this sample has been utterly reversed. This flip reﬂects a shift from conventional plant-based diets excessive in potassium and low in sodium––a shift from fruits and greens, roots, and tubers to salty processed meals stripped of potassium, which is taken into account a “nutrient of public well being concern” as a result of 98 p.c of the U.S. inhabitants doesn’t even attain the beneficial minimal day by day consumption of potassium, as I discussed in my final video. And, low potassium consumption itself is implicated in hypertension and heart problems. But few physicians really take into consideration proposing their sufferers eat extra meals which can be excessive in potassium, like vegetables and fruit, to higher management blood stress––regardless that a number of meta-analyses have now conﬁrmed that prime potassium consumption seems to cut back the chance of stroke.
There’s even a discount in stroke danger impartial of blood stress results, in line with different protecting results of potassium, reminiscent of decreasing clot formation, decreasing hardening of the arteries, decreasing the era of free radicals. Greater sodium consumption is related to a 20 p.c elevated danger of dying prematurely, the place greater potassium consumption was related to a 20 p.c decreased danger of dying prematurely. Yeah, however sodium is present in crappy processed meals, whereas potassium is concentrated in wholesome meals like beans and greens. So, having low sodium consumption and excessive potassium consumption could be a marker for a more healthy weight loss program—extra plant meals and fewer crap.
How do we all know sodium is cause-and-effect unhealthy? As a result of randomized managed trials present sodium discount results in blood stress discount, similar to there are randomized managed trials displaying that if you happen to give individuals further potassium, you may carry down blood pressures as effectively. So, what about utilizing potassium chloride to salt your meals, fairly than sodium chloride? That’s what’s present in these zero sodium salt substitutes.
Potassium chloride is a naturally occurring mineral salt, which is obtained the identical method we get common sodium salt. Since we get an excessive amount of sodium and never sufficient potassium, this would appear to make potassium chloride a win-win resolution.
Now, complete wholesome plant meals could be the easiest way to extend potassium consumption. Vegatables and fruits have all types of different good issues in them apart from potassium, however now we have 10 research now, randomized managed trials, displaying that simply swapping in some potassium chloride for normal salt can result in vital reductions in blood stress in individuals with hypertension––suggesting that salt substitutes might even assist forestall hypertension as effectively. We all know that salt substitutes can decrease blood stress, however does it really lower the incidence of hypertension, and extra importantly, illness endpoints like stroke and mortality? You don’t know, till you set it to the check.
In a randomized managed trial, households had their salt changed with only a quarter potassium chloride. At that stage, most individuals both can’t inform the distinction, and even choose the salt with the potassium combined in. Okay, however did it really do any good? Using even the quarter salt substitute was related to chopping the chance of creating hypertension in half.
Okay, however what about really following individuals out to see if there’s any change within the danger of dying from heart problems? 5 kitchens in a veterans’ retirement house have been randomized into two teams for about two and a half years, salting meals with common salt or, unbeknownst to the cooks and the diners, a 50/50 mix of potassium chloride. These within the half-potassium group lower their danger of dying from heart problems by about 40 p.c, and lived as much as almost a 12 months longer. The life expectancy distinction at age 70 was equal to that which might have naturally occurred in 14 years––that means that simply switching to half potassium salt appeared to successfully make individuals greater than a decade youthful when it got here to danger of loss of life. As we communicate, there’s a huge randomized managed trial wrapping up in China, involving 600 villages and greater than 20,000 individuals, that can give us an concept of simply how low we will drop stroke danger with this technique.
China is ideal, as a result of as much as 75 p.c of their sodium consumption comes from salt they add within the house kitchen or eating room, whereas most sodium within the American weight loss program comes prepackaged within the meat and processed meals we purchase––although actually the meals firms may swap over themselves. Why haven’t they? And why haven’t extra individuals embraced these salt substitutes, in the event that they work effectively and may style simply nearly as good? We could possibly be “Attaining the Beneﬁts of a Excessive-Potassium Paleolithic Weight loss plan—With out the Toxicity.” So, “Is salt substitution prepared for prime time or what?” What about security? Sure, there are convincing arguments about the advantages, however what concerning the dangers, like you understand, the quote-unquote “inclusion of probably deadly salt substitutes within the meals provide.” Wait, what? We’ll speak concerning the potential downsides, subsequent.
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